A walk along the Hudson.
A friend calls me to invite me for dinner.
I suddenly realize that I don't deserve any of the Grace that is sent.
And, for me, this is one of the facts of Grace: the more one encounters Grace, and the deeper it falls into Being, the more gently and lovingly it teaches me that I don't deserve Grace at all. It is a wonderful thing, Grace; this love is unconditional. And it keeps coming, more and more, deeper and deeper; and I am less and less—ever less—deserving, because the more I see of God's Grace, the more absolutely certain I am, with every ounce of feeling that my Being can have, with every dram of conscience which can be awakened in this unworthy breast, that I deserve absolutely nothing — none of it.
The anguish that this produces is nearly unbearable; yet the gifts that are sent are so generous it is impossible to say no; and even if I wanted to say no, I couldn't. It is not up to me. It is not up to me to receive; it is my part, on the other hand, to a knowledge and to suffer what I am, knowing that this lesson is quite necessary.
Why does a phone call from a friend trigger such understandings?
I can't say, except that I am sure all of these things that come are blessings. There is a moment when the soul opens to God in which one sees that 100% of one's life is a blessing; that the worst thing that ever happened to me is a blessing; that the least significant leaf lying on the snow, already long spent, is a blessing. Understanding this with all of the parts — feeling, sensation, intelligence — is also anguishing and unbearable, because the instant that a really centered awareness encounters how things are, one overwhelmingly understands one's own nothingness.
That nothingness stands looking directly into the active manifestation of the Lord; and no one really dares to look at the Lord directly.
As usual, although I can explain the cosmos — more or less — I can't explain any of this, because what really happens in one's relationship with God, in the living experience of the soul and its efforts to be whole, is of a different order.
It exceeds creation.
How it does that and why it does that are mysteries indeed; and the only thing I'm certain of is the way in which it calls me to suffer the truth of what is, in the midst of life.